Nobody can take away your power without your permission.
They can demote you, judge you, shame you, shun you, fire you, or call you names, but you always, ALWAYS have a choice as to how you react and feel.
When you feel disempowered it’s because someone has done something to put you down. You feel ashamed, embarrassed, or demeaned. While you are entitled to feel the pain of the person’s aggressive move towards you, and you are justified in your reaction, you can only be diminished in your power if you allow it.
How do you overcome a huge dose of negative energy that has been dumped on you? How do you retain your dignity, your self worth and your composure in the face of bullying intentional or not, family, friends or work?
Viktor Frankl says, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
There is always a choice to use that space Frankl mentions to access your power within instead of reacting to the energy coming from outside sources. You can believe and know that you are worthy, that you are valuable even when someone does whatever she can to make you feel otherwise.
I found my way of handling this when in the midst of crisis a mentor said to me, “You can only influence what is inside your circle of control.” Instead of behaving defensively to what felt like an unjust betrayal and attack, instead of arguing and fighting to change the circumstances, I took responsibility for how I showed up, how I spoke to people and how I made them feel.
Despite the feeling of being kicked in the stomach, I cultivated a sense of love and forgiveness in my heart so that everything I said could come from within my values. The anxiety still lived in me for months, but slowly things started to change, and as I relaxed in the way that I presented myself and responded to things, the people around me relaxed also.
Instead of their anxiety-driven behavior resonating and generating the same behavior from me, I led them towards a more relaxed, positive and open energy.
That is when I learned that no one can really take away your power if you do not give it to them. You ALWAYS have the power to receive their negativity and repurpose their energy into what you want to send into the world.
If you are struggling to take back your power and live in the area, PLEASE reach out and have a conversation with me. I so much want you to see what you truly have within you and what you can do. If you are in Southern California, PLEASE consider coming to one of my workshops where we focus on this directly.
Leah Zimmerman is an Intergenerational Resolving Conflict Expert and Family Business Advisor who makes hard conversations easy. She blends her background in education, theater, personal development and spirituality to create transformational conversations for individuals, teams and families. Find Leah on Linkedin at to learn more.